Writing Assignment on
Alice Walker's "Roselily"

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Write on one of the following topics:

Topic A. This story originally appeared in a collection entitled In Love and Trouble (1973).  Ann Charters says of the women who stories make up this collection that they "struggle against social injustice almost in spite of themselves."  If you believe that this description applies to Roselily, explain what it means and how her case fits it.

Topic B.  Summarize the situation of the protagonist, and distinguish the various conflicts she is experiencing.  Are these conflicts resolved in the story?  Or is the plot "open" at the end?  What are you left with as a sense of how things will turn out?  What evidence in this story is the basis for your inclination?

Topic C.  What do we know of the various men in the protagonist's past?  What is problematic about them?  What are the outstanding facts about the man Roseliliy is getting married to?  What were her motives in accepting his proposal?  What are her fears about the future with him?  How do we see her dealing with these fears?

Topic D.  How does the name "Roselily" aptly apply to the character of the woman who's getting married in this story?  How is the name at the same time surprising?  (This topic requires you to spell out a range of connotations of the name, and to gather facts from the story that reinforce some of these and others that run counter to some of these [perhaps the same ones.)

  Consult the Study Guide to this story before attempting this writing assignment.

  You may also wish to review the general instructions on writing assignments.

  Suggestions are welcome.  Please send your comments to lyman@ksu.edu .

      Contents copyright 1999 by Lyman A. Baker

Permission is granted for non-commercial educational use; all other rights reserved.

  This page last updated 04 April 1999.